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Effects of Emotional State on Reactions to Health Risk Feedback

Cerully, Jennifer L (2008) Effects of Emotional State on Reactions to Health Risk Feedback. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The influence of emotion on reactions to a subsequent emotion-inducing event, receiving health feedback, was investigated. 208 male and female undergraduate students were given a film emotion induction procedure intended to elicit happiness, sadness, or neutral affect. They then received false feedback indicating that their risk of getting a fictional type of influenza was high or low. Reactions to the feedback were assessed by measuring affect, risk perceptions, and worry. In addition, intentions to engage in health behaviors and actual health information-seeking behavior were assessed. Receiving high risk feedback resulted in less positive affect, more negative affect and worry, and higher risk perceptions than getting low risk feedback. Risk feedback influenced one measure of behavioral intentions. For low risk participants, experiencing an emotion (happy or sad) resulted in taking more pamphlets than those in the neutral condition who received the same feedback. High risk participants who experienced an emotion took fewer pamphlets than neutral people receiving the same feedback. Increased positive affect, worry, and risk perceptions after receiving feedback predicted intentions to engage in health behavior, and people who worried more were more likely to take pamphlets about the flu. However, these reactions to feedback did not mediate the relationship between feedback and behavior. Behavioral intentions did mediate the relationship between feedback and placing contact information in a box to receive more information about the flu. Overall, the findings have implications for how potentially threatening personal feedback will be interpreted and acted upon depending on the receiver's emotional state at the time of getting feedback.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Cerully, Jennifer Ljlc57@pitt.eduJLC57
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKlein, William M. P.wmklein@pitt.eduWMKLEIN
Committee MemberLevine, Johnjml@pitt.eduJML
Committee MemberGreenberg, Martingreenber@pitt.eduGREENBER
Date: 28 September 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 13 June 2008
Approval Date: 28 September 2008
Submission Date: 1 July 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: affect; behavior; emotion induction; emotion manipulation; experiment; false feedback; information seeking; perceived risk; psychology; risk perceptions; social; worry
Other ID:, etd-07012008-161040
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:49
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:45


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